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Navies from 10 ASEAN countries and China build confidence and trust through joint search-and-rescue (SAR) operations and drills at sea.
"It is essential for our military leaders to build rapport, understanding and confidence through interactions at various levels...to build personal ties which can prove very useful (in) de-escalating tensions and preventing miscalculations."
The ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise is an important milestone in Singapore's efforts to advance regional stability.
With a combined total of 25 million troops across the 10 ASEAN and the eight ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus countries, the grouping accounts for a significant percentage of the world's military forces.
The 10 ASEAN defence ministers have signed off on the world's first multilateral Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME) to improve the operational safety of air lanes.
The new code applies to unplanned encounters between military aircraft over high seas and describes the need for communicating appropriately, maintaining a safe distance and avoiding reckless manoeuvres.
Singapore hosts top defence officials from the US, China and other countries to discuss pressing security issues in the region at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD).
The operationalisation of hotlines to respond to maritime emergencies, the launch of a Direct Communications Infrastructure among ASEAN establishments, and an agreement to expand the Code for Unplanned Encounters to all ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus countries this November.
The ASEAN defence ministers have developed a "Three R" framework to deal with transnational terrorism in the region.
As Singapore chairs the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) in 2018, PIONEER looks at how far the group has come and what to expect in the coming year.